As my husband Jacob and one of my favorite bands, Plumb would say, "There's a God-shaped hole in all of us." The song goes on to say, "And the restless soul is searching, There's a God-shaped hole in all of us, And it's a void only He can fill." How true that is. We were imagined in the heart of the Infinite Creator God and crafted by His hands to take on His very image. We were created for a relationship with the Divine, to walk and talk with the Almighty, to be known and ever loved by the Most High God. To know Jesus, this is the chief end. It's the bottom line. If we don't get anything else into our hard human heads, we must get this. Paul did. In Philippians 3:8 he boldly and blatantly declares, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." I have quoted this verse many times, but never have I faced the persecution and hardship that Paul endured in his years of knowing Christ. And yet I find myself so easily distracted, so quickly "entangled" and led astray by my own selfish agenda, forgetting the main thing and striving toward my own end, whatever pointless endeavor that might encompass at the moment. I realize that self-bashing is no solution, and the last thing I want to do is trample the grace of God so evidently at work in my life by saying that it is not enough. On the contrary. The relentless grace God offers is more than enough. I am amazed every day at how the Holy Spirit beckons me nearer still, even in my stubbornness and self-sufficiency.
But that's just it! It's God's mercy revealed anew every morning that propels us into this love relationship with His Son. We realize that we're not getting what we so deserve because Jesus, being the perfect sinless man that He was, wrapped Himself in our sin, bore our shame, and took our punishment from God the Just so that we might be free from our heavy chains of addiction and pride and...the list goes on. I can't fully get my head around such a sacrificial expression of forgiveness and love, but I know that this truth is slowly but surely transforming my life. My flesh is still weak and the fight will not cease until I breathe my last earthly breath, but I know that my life has meaning because of this man named Jesus Christ.
Perhaps I'm being so blunt because I need a swift kick in the pants to remind me that my life is not my own (1 Cor. 6:19-20, 2 Cor. 5:15). Perhaps we the Church, being identified with Christ as His own body, need to get back to the basics...loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbor as ourself. Whatever the case, we cannot expect to make a dent in the world we live in apart from the Word and Spirit of God flowing through us. We have nothing to offer that could ever save anyone. But we don't have to. The Savior is alive in us and desires to take our meager offerings and multiply them for the glory of His name. So let's rise up, Church. Let's get back to seeking the Lord first. Let's dust off our Bibles and commit to spending more time in God's Word than on facebook (yes, I just went there). Our souls are thirsty for more truth and less fluff. Who's with me?